Friday, June 28, 2013

The Great Gatsby : A Review

Rating: 3.7 out of 5

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

 In this review I'm not going to comment on the writing style, the plot or the characters. You must be thinking-- THEN CALL IT A REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!      

Well I'm just going to talk about how this book appealed to me, because the rest has been over-analyzed and written and re-written about.

Gatsby is a lover. He is just that. He dedicates his entire life to the one he loved. All his actions, all his achievements and all the troubles he undertakes are just for his love. So that he could look at her and tell her about his love for her. His character really compels one to believe in love. I think that the title “The Great Gatsby” is fully justified in the context of Gatsby as a lover. He might be a criminal, a fugitive and a liar to the world but he is also the ideal lover. His ways might be questionable but his love is rock solid.

Rest of the people are not so special. Daisy is the cold, calculative,selfish woman for whom only the materialistic gains matter. Tom is the egomaniac who is a chauvinist and believes that all he does is fair. Nick is naive and gullible narrator who is more of a prop than a character in the story. However, his loyalty in friendship towards Gatsby is one of the important relationships in the story.    

Furthermore, like all classics, this one too takes time in grasping one's attention. The first fifty or so pages are solely dedicated to Nick and why he moves. And also there is some useless detailing but as the story progresses it captures one's attention so much so that one tries to read it in one go.

So, read it for Gatsby, just Gatsby..... 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Inferno: A Review

 Rating: 3.39 out of 5

 Author: Dan Brown

Inferno is the latest installment in the Robert Langdon series. I was really impressed with Angels and Demons but after that The Da Vinci code and The Lost Symbol were disappointing. Hence I did not have high hopes from this one. And I wasn't surprised. Although, it is better than The Lost Symbol but not as good as Angels and Demons. 

The plot is based in Italy and Turkey. The premise deals with Dante Alighieri's historical work The Divine Comedy. The protagonists have to decipher the clues using the said work of Dante to save the world. The writing style is well sluggish. In some of my past reviews I have complained of authors not having researched the premise well but In this case Brown has over-researched the locations and facts, so much so that the story loses its pace and one ends up flipping pages at some points. 

 The story begins when Robert wakes up in a hospital in Florence but he has no memory of how and why he is there. His doctor, Sienna Brooks, helps him solve the mystery and why everyone is out for his blood. Sienna Brooks is the super genius girl who had a difficult childhood and does not want anybody to know about her and her genius. Robert Langdon is confused about a lot of things. He, even while running for is life, does not fail to point out certain facts about the said locations in the story which personally I found extremely annoying. I mean if I have the international military running after me I wouldn't care about the Hercules or Michelangelo!!!! Bertrand Zobrist is the genius-gone-mad of the story. He is the mind behind the chaos. He is more of a prop than a character in the story because he does not play much of an active role in the story. It's his creation that has everyone worried. Elizabeth Sinskey, WHO chief who can't bear children (this fact has been emphasized a lot in the story for no clear reason), was warned by Zobrist before all this began and is now after Langdon (later in the story her stand becomes clear). There are many other characters in the story but more than characters they are just props who act as they are told

The story is like a roller coaster. Initially there is a lot of excitement, a lot of energy but as it progresses all that is lost and one ends up with a disappointing ending. There are some twists and turns in the story but the writing style combined with the overdose of scenic descriptions and facts just makes for a lousy read. The plot had a lot of potential but sadly does not amount to something special. 

Hence, it's a decent read but you have been warned.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Best Kept Secret: A Review

 Rating: 3.35 out of 5

Author: Jeffrey Archer

Best Kept Secret' is the third book in the Clifton chronicles. The story begins with the death of Sir Walter Barrington and voting at the house of lords to decide the heir of the Barrington empire. The story's focus shifts from Giles to Harry-Emma the to Giles and his wife then comes Alex Fletcher Vs Clifton/Barrington at last giving way to Sebastian. the story can hold one's attention for the major part but there are sections which one may skip without missing out on anything major.

 The plot of the story is almost same to the last two books of this series. There is too much detailing which could be edited better. The main characters are the same for the major part of the story. Giles is the naive, dumb (in my opinion), gullible heir of the Barrington empire who needs people telling him what to do at every step of the way. Emma is a smart, intelligent woman who adores her husband. She cares for her brother and looks after him. She also finds her father's child Jessica and adopts her. Harry's character this time takes the backstage and is seen on the sidelines of the story. The only part where the spotlight focuses on Harry is during his tour of the US. In fact, I felt this part to be unnecessary as it does not aid the story. Sebastian is the child of Emma and Harry. He is intelligent and street smart. He is at the exploring stage of his teen years. His lack respect for the rules of the school and a little naive attitude lands him in grave of trouble.    

The writing style is simple but a little slow. Also there is just too much unnecessary detailing which could be edited out. Furthermore, the author fails to create suspense as most of the situations are predictable and one can easily know the end. But how the problem reaches its solution is the readable part.

 The story is interesting but lacks the AHA factor. It will not cause you to jump out of your seat or trigger any such strong emotional/physical response but its more like a comic strip where ever comic aids the next and the story keeps progressing.